Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the Mood for Love, by Kar Wai Wong

   Hong Kong, 1962. A newspaper editor and the wife of an executive move at the same day to bedrooms on adjacent apartments. Their spouses are always off abroad and they eventually discover their halves to be having an affair.
   The two live in a really confined space and the movie shows this with amazing beauty. Her colorful perfectly fit dresses are amazing! But they resignantly stick to the decision of not acting as their spouses, and only meet to work on writting a serial martial arts publication together.

   I am looking forward to see other of Wong's movies, specially Chungking Express, also released on the Criterion Collection.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Prophet, by Jacques Audiard

   Amazing movie by the same director of 'The beat that my heart skipped' (De battre mon coeur s'est arrĂȘtĂ©).

   A 19 year old arabic man is put in jail for agressing a policeman. Most of the movie is his 'education' process to turn into a big criminal. His first crime - the assassination of another prisoner - is a quite strong scene, where he hides a razor blade in his mounth and the execution way less clean than he planned. He, then, gradually gets more protection from the big corsican mobster that rules the prison.

   A really interesting feature of this film is the care the director took in making the protagonist to be perceived as someone the audience can 'like', given the crimes he is commiting. His conciliation with the arabic origins and his relationship with his dying friend and family ane used to that effect.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sweetie, by Jane Campion

   Beautiful family story filmed in Australia. This is the first movie by Jane Campion. A young couple is strugling to start a life together, when the girl's sister and boyfriend arrive to give them a hard time. Her parents eventually join and we start to understand what is going on between this people.

Kicking and Screaming, by Noah Baumbach

   This movie is part of the selection from Criterion Collection. These are usually amazing movies.

   But... Kicking and Screaming is probably more interesting for an american audience than it was for me.

   Some dialogues are interesting and the idea of young people delaying their important life decisions and hanging around school after graduation is something many people might connect to.

The Royal Tenenbaums, by Wes Anderson

   Nice looks, really good actors (I love Gene Hackman and Angelica Huston), beautiful image, but not a very engaging movie.

   I migh try another Wes Anderson - The Fantastic Mr Fox - maybe?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunset Boulevard, by Billy Wilder

   Billy Wilder is one of my favourite directors and Sunset Boulevard is among his better accomplishments. The screenplay is very elaborated and deserves beeing read after seeing the movie.

   In Los Angeles, a screenwriter in a crisis, not able produce work that enables him to pay his debts and is threatened to lose his car. While running away from his debtors, he runs into an old rich house, where he hides and discovers a new connection with the movies. The house is inhabited by an old actress from the silent movie era and her waiter.

   The way the story is told, from the dead writer's standpoint, is very powerful. If there is a better movie about movies than this one, let me know. I haven't seen it!

   Some phrases on this movie are part of movie mythology. [TODO: Copy some of these phases from my notebook]

Crumb, by Terry Zwigoff

   Amazing documentary on Robert Crumb and his brothers. Terry Zwigoff, was intimate with the graphical artist during the long recording of this movie and this makes a lot of difference on the depth the story is told.

   Insanity runs wild in the Crumb family. The fact that Robert has had a successful carrer doesn't free him from its spell. One of his brothers has never left his mothers' home and the other is shown swallowing a piece of chord and lives out of begging. One has the impression we are seeing a number of parallel possibilities for the same person, as they share interests and obsessions.

   It's revealing to see Crumb relating to women and compare with his prolific drawings of them. Same comment is valid for his family. He seems lost in a world he can't grasp the meaning of. So he draws what he sees.

   At the end, Robert leaves America to live in France, where he drew his - recently released - 'Genesis'. Beginnings.



Nixon, by Oliver stone

   Really complicated and long movie (more than three hours!) about Nixon's last days at presidency.

   Anthony Hopkin's interpretation was amazing. I feel the author -  Oliver Stone - took a lot of liberties on the characters and dialogues and that he simpathizes more with Nixon than other movie depictions of this controversial character and complicated epoch.